Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s accuser, willing to testify next week

A lawyer for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has alleged Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two of them were in high school, said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Blasey is willing to testify before lawmakers as soon as next week, but ruled out Monday, the date the committee had scheduled for a hearing.

In an email to committee staffers obtained by CBS News, Ford’s lawyer Debra Katz wrote that Ford “wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety. A hearing on Monday is not possible and the committee’s insistence that it occur then is arbitrary in any event.” 

The New York Times first reported Ford’s offer to testify later in the week.

Katz reiterated in her email that Ford has been receiving death threats and that she and her family have been forced out of their home. Katz also repeated to the committee that Ford appreciates the options it had offered regarding her testimony. Katz wrote that Blasey’s “strong preference” is for the FBI to fully investigate the incident prior to her appearance before the committee. Democrats have said they would prefer to see a full FBI investigation before Ford appears.

Several Republicans, including Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, said that the committee should proceed with a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination if it doesn’t hear from both sides Monday.

On Wednesday, Grassley gave Ford a deadline of Friday morning to submit testimony, after her lawyer had initially said she did not want to testify until the FBI had completed an investigation. Republicans on the committee are arguing that they have given Ford sufficient time to respond, and have given her the option of testifying behind closed doors or speaking with committee staff in her home state of California. 

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